South Africa's leading Eco Store - Need Assistance? 0861 661 326 or Click Here

green technology

  • Winter Can Wait!

    With summer now little more than a distant memory and the nights already starting to draw in, let us help you keep warm this Autumn by enjoying a comfortable green lifestyle and saving money at the same time. Our motto at Sustainable.co.za is "Buy once, buy well", and we have so many great products available that you will be coming back for more.

    Continue reading

  • Off-grid living is easier than you think.

    Many people aspire to becoming totally self-sufficient and living off-grid but feel that it is impossible due to the technology involved and the financial implications, but we are here to tell you that going off the grid is easier than you think, if you put the time in.

    Like anything desirable, achieving aspirations take time and dedication. Due to the fact that we have more than 15 years of experience, we have listed our top tips on how to go to make a smooth transition to going off-grid.

    Continue reading

  • Load Shedding - Don't be left in the dark

    Load Shedding - Don't be left in the dark again.

    Is Load Shedding back? Are we forever waiting for another run of stage 1, 2 and 3bs? Whenever there is a power cut, many of us wait with bated breath for the dreaded announcement. For some South Africans, load shedding has never stopped. After another scare a few weeks ago, we at Sustainable.co.za have decided to write a guide on how to prepare yourself for power cuts. From small cost effective solutions, to larger, long term applications, we have ensured that we have it all.

    Continue reading

  • Come out of the Cold this Winter

    Winter has arrived in Summer-loving South Africa, and that means the days are darker, the nights are colder and the electricity bills start creeping skyward.

    At Sustainable.co.za, we are all about improving lifestyles the green way, not only through energy efficiency but by saving you some cash for a rainy day adventure.

    Let there be Light

    The fact of the matter is that the nights last longer in the cold months, so lighting is imperative in keeping things cosy. Simply replace your lights with their LED counterparts and they can burn all night while still using a fraction of the power used by incandescent bulbs in the evenings.

    Some people are concerned by the quality of the light but fear not, we have a wide range of LED lights available in warm, natural and cool white, catering to all tastes. Our Solar Lights are also great for outdoor use, whether you crave the ambiance of outdoor lighting or have them installed for safety reasons, we have what you need.

     

     

    Snuggling up

    It is very easy to reach for the aircon or electric heater/ blanket when the days are cold but we have some alternative solutions that will warm your cockles.

    If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, rather opt for a roaring fire over an electrical heater or aircon. Anything that generates heat uses a lot of power so the environment and your pocket will feel the expense. We have fantastic eco-logs and firelighters available. Our eco-logs burn longer and hotter and create minimal smoke and our firelighters don't smell at all because, you guessed it, zero parrafin! Best of all, our prices match standard bags of wood and firelighters that can be purchased at retail shops so it's a win-win kind of deal.

    To beat the cold in bed, pile up on the blankets, or put a hot water bottle in the bed for a few hours before you go to sleep at night.

     

    Keep things Steamy

    Geysers struggle in Winter and become less efficient due to the cold. Keep your geyser happy by wrapping it in a blanket and pipe insulation and greatly reduce heat loss. Gas geysers are also a great alternative to standard electrical geysers and can be great back-up for off-grid homes. For those that do not like wasting water, Instant Water Heaters are a great way to save on water by reducing the time it takes for the water to heat up. This also allows you to switch your geyser off and save on electricity. Why not install an Efergy Electricity Monitor so you can watch all your savings?

     

     

    Warm Winter Fare

    In many households across South Africa, the aunties start gearing up for Winter by hauling out their secret stew and curry recipes and spend all day cooking for the family. Keep aunty (and your bank manager) happy by investing in a gas stove. For those who enjoy slow cooking, the hot bag can keep the pots hot all day long without using a stitch of electricity. Simply bring the food to the boil and pop it in. It couldn't be simpler. On a personal note, my mom swears by the Eco Zoom. It takes much quicker to cook a rice on this fantastic little wood burner than it does on a conventional stove.

     

     

    Our Sustainable Promise

    Not only do we promise to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest products that will improve your lifestyle and the future of this planet, but we also always ensure that we have a little something extra to offer. This Winter, we will be running a Giveaway looking to Spring (as it ends at the end of Winter) and will be focusing on a Green Camping theme.  Read more about it here. Father's Day is also in June so we have put a spotlight on our green dads and will be running a giveaway on our social media pages so keep an eye out!

    "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." -John Steinbeck

  • 4th Annual Eco Film Festival

    The 4th Annual SA Eco Film Festival returns to Cape Town and surrounds, proudly supported by leading Western Cape ECO Friendly business partners Sustainable.co.za, Ballo, Reliance and Hemporium.
    This years Festival theme is #ChangeIsHere in light of a tumultuous 2016 – which took the record for the hottest global temperatures ever measured, served up several political surprises across continents and saw burgeoning technological advances from driverless cars to falling costs of renewable power – whatever your opinion or beliefs, #ChangeIsHere.
    With engaging and thought provoking program content the Festival seeks to explore what changes are needed, and how our personal change can affect the world for the better. We are proud to be showcasing challenging, intriguing and creative film content from SA and across the World highlighting issues that effect us all, whilst introducing participants, filmmakers and audience members alike to sustainable living choices and life style changes that are available, today.
    With audience Q&A’s, guest speakers and more, this years SA Eco Film Festival is gearing up to create an ever bigger impact than ever before.

    The program covers a broad range of pressing topics, each with a unique approach highlighting the urgency of the environmental situation and offering hope by uniting people working towards a solution. Among the issues covered are population growth and its devastating combined effect with consumerism; escalating global trade and the impact of the massive maritime freight industry, the hidden realities of climate change on the oceans and ideas to utilise this vast resource in addressing water scarcity. The exposé continues with threatened seed banks and the patenting thereof by corporate greed and social injustice still rampant in child slavery. Underpinning these themes is a call to action to protect what we take for granted and debunking an outdated system no longer in line with the demands of the future.

    BEFORE THE FLOOD (96 MINS, USA, 2016)

    Leonardo di Caprio travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of climate change and the concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.

     

    CAN YOU DIG THIS (80 MINS, USA, 2016)

    These South LA "gangster gardeners" are creating an oasis in one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. Not a story of science and economics but a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to get on and "plant some shit."

     

    CHANGE (5 MINS, SINGAPORE 2016 - ANIMATION)

    Constant change is a natural part of Earth’s life, and its interconnected systems can easily adapt to slow change. But the natural balance gets disrupted when changes happen rapidly. Our growth and prosperity are changing Planet Earth, and some of those changes may be forever.

     

    CYCLOLOGIC (15 MINS, SWEDEN/UGANDA 2016)

    Traveling the streets of Kampala by bike is exhausting and dangerous. Chaotic and dangerous traffic, endless queues, pollution, motorcyclists and cars attacking you from every angle. Politicians seem to have given up on finding a solution. But there are a few people who strive to show that there are alternatives. Urban planner Amanda Ngabirano's biggest dream is to have a cycling lane in her city. An impossible task according to many.

    Not according to Amanda.

     

    DEATH BY DESIGN (73 MINS, USA 2015)

    Just what is the cost of our digital dependency? Director Sue Williams debunks the notion that electronics is a “clean” industry. From early poisonous practices in Silicon Valley, to China’s ongoing dumping of chemicals this is a story that isn’t being told - but can no longer be ignored.

     

    FOOTPRINT (82 MINS, FRANCE/USA 2016 – SOME SUB-TITLES)

    Takes a dizzying spin around the globe, spending time with indigenous health workers, activists, and the ordinary people who challenge ideas and suggest changes needed to cope with the weight of humanity’s footprint on the world.

     

    FREIGHTENED (84 MINS, SPAIN/FRANCE 2016)

    'Sea blindness' refers to a shroud of secrecy that allows hugely lucrative shipping companies to shirk labour, ecological & ethical responsibilities. As trade globalises, so do goods and services – at an alarming cost. Denis Delestrac exposes devastating effects of freight shipping & suggests workable solutions that prioritise consumer awareness & commercial accountability.

     

    KAYABIKE (45 MINS, SOUTH AFRICA 2016)

    The life of a kids and their BMX coach training in a South African township (Kayamandi), waiting for competition day. Throughout the process they will learn much more than just how to pedal.

     

    KOKOTA (30 MINS, CANADA 2016)

    Kokota was teetering towards collapse, climate change and local deforestation were the culprits. This inspiring gem shows how unlikely heroes have managed to adapt to a warming climate.The film promises to leave audiences around the world believing that simple solutions really can have huge impacts for change.

     

    LITTLE TEETH (7 MINS GERMANY 2016)

    Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of shark fins. They are consumed in a soup that is considered a delicacy. Rising demand devastates the balance of the ocean. One surfer in Bali didn’t just stand back and watch - he convinces local fishermen to sell the sharks to him alive instead of killing them. This short includes the release of rescued baby sharks into a protected marine park.

     

    NORMAL IS OVER (103 MINS, NETHERLANDS/SA 2015)

    A compelling film chronicling the way humans have inadvertently imperiled our planet, while Offering changes and solutions, from practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time. This film is intended to challenge viewers on many different levels but, most of all, offers hope.

     

    SEA OF LIFE (86 MINS, CANADA 2016)

    Sea of Life seeks to inspire change by bringing audiences an eye-opening adventure from the beautiful world of coral reefs. There are introductions to the heart of the environmental movement, meeting passionate scientists, activists, and explorers who reveal an enormous opportunity to rise up and become the heroes the world needs.

     

    SEED – THE UNTOLD STORY (94 MINS, USA, 2016)

    A David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food, this harrowing and heartening story features reluctant heroes rekindling a lost connection to our most treasured resource and reviving a culture of life.

     

    TAWAI (100 MINS, UK 2017)

    Bruce Parry, BAFTA award winning documentarian, explores what has happened to humankind since we stopped roaming and began to settle. From the jungles of Borneo to India and from the Amazon to the Isle of Skye what has happened to our societies, to our relationships with each other, and how we relate to the natural world?

     

    THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES (80 MINS, USA, 2016)

    The Hurt Locker meets An Inconvenient Truth, this film investigates the impacts of irreversible climate change through the lens of US national security and global instability. The film's unnerving assessment is not a reason for fatalism but a call to action to rethink how we use and produce energy.

     

    THE CHOCOLATE CASE (90 MINS, NETHERLANDS 2016)

    In 2003, a group of young Dutch journalists began a campaign against child slavery in the cocoa industry. Their journey towards a slave-free world cocoa began as part of a report on a current affairs TV program. Combining archival material with new footage and interviews an inspiring story is brought up to date.

     

    THERE WILL BE WATER (58 MINS, DENMARK 2016)

    With the world rapidly running out of water, British engineer Bill Watts has a big idea: turning salt water into an energy source, and using large desert areas to produce energy, food and clean water. But turning his lightbulb moment into a viable commercial prospect proves a difficult nut to crack.

     

    THE VALUABLE WASTE (47 MINS, NIGERIA 2016)

    Waste management is a problem everywhere. Now, with the cooperation of stakeholders and social groups contributing and participating in managed recycling schemes at a local level, a clean and healthy environment seems a possibility through a sustainable development in West Africa.

     

    WHAT IS REAL (79 MINS, SOUTH AFRICA 2016)

    Join South African director, Jay Mac, as he narrates a world of change through a method called, Jivamukti Yoga. Told through the people that made that history around the world, spanning over three decades including Sting, Russell Simmons, Krishna Das, Donna Karan, WAH, MC Yogi and many more...

     

    WOMEN ARE THE ANSWER (90 MINS, AUSTRALIA 2016)

    Population growth has been left out of the climate debate because it is seen as controversial. The global population has passed the 7 billion mark, but one state in southern India has found a solution. The unique history of Kerala and ‘the Kerala Model’ is outlined, using it as an example of achieving population control in developing countries without coercion.

  • Promising Green Technologies on the Horizon

    It has become common knowledge that the rate at which we are currently using the earth’s resources is not sustainable.  Fortunately, this realisation has spurred many individuals and companies to think broader and look for effective ways to secure a green future. Here are some initiatives causing a stir in eco circles:

    Solar Roadways

    Imagine a world where 75% of greenhouse gases are cut and the electricity in your home and business is paid for by nothing else than your driveway and parking lot. This is where Solar Roadways steps in – a modular paving system made from solar panels, able bear the weight of trucks up to 250 000 pounds. The panels can be designed to be installed on any large outdoor surface, from roads to parking lots,driveways, bike paths or playgrounds.


    Besides paying for themselves through generating electricity, they promise other helpful features such as LEDs to light up street signage and an added Cable Corridor to treat and store storm water.

    The solar panels will allow electrical vehicles to charge when they are in parking lots and while driving, once a roadway system is set up.

    The project has stirred massive excitement through the ‘Solar Roadways’ campaign Indiegogo hosted.  During the campaign, which ran from 21 April  to 20 June 2014 , 210% of their goal money was raised - $2 098 797 of the aimed $ 1 000 000. The money will go towards the set up for the production of the solar road panels. The YouTube clip promoting the solar roadways was uploaded in May 2014 and at the time of writing had already received over 16 m views.  The future for sun charged road surfaces does, indeed, seem bright.

    Image: Artist's impression of Sandpoint, Idaho – the Home of Solar Roadways. Source: http://bit.ly/1iv9hub

    Solar Spray

    Norwegian energy solution company EnSol AS has developed a way around bulky solar panels – transparent solar spray for windows. The spray-on solar film gives windows the ability to generate solar power through the metal nanoparticles found in the medium.

    The solar cells can be ‘sprayed’ onto more than just windows – the rest of the house and even car roofs can be potential surfaces.  EnSol AS aims to make the spray commercially available at an affordable price by 2016.

    Science City Heating System

    sciencecitys Image: http://bit.ly/1nnhteb

    A revolutionary way to store the excess heat energy produced during summer is in the process of being piloted in Science City. Science City forms part of Switzerland’s ETH Zurich campus.  The mastermind behind the plan is Gehrard Schmitt, who has set an innovative plan in motion to pump natural heat produced during summer underground, to be pushed back into the building during winter.

    The completed storage fields will consist of approximately 800 pipes of 200 meters each, laid 5meters underground.  The completion date for the project is 2020, by which Science City plans to rely on electricity for only one-twelfth of their temperature adjustment needs. Now that sounds like turning up the heat for a green future!

    Smart Meters

    smart_meters Image: http://ti.me/1lyOXe4

    Most current electric meters give users very limited information. Bring in the Smart Meter and you’ll be able to get a real-time picture of how much power is being used at a given moment and what it is costing. But it gets a whole lot more practical: the meter can be used to help you use your electricity as efficiently as possible by networking appliances into the Smart Meter and programming them accordingly.

    This will mean you could, for example, programme your washing machine to run only during times of low electricity demand. Both gas and electricity smart meters are now available.  However, since governments have rolled out programmes to install them, there has been controversy surrounding its effectiveness.

    Artificial Photosynthesis

    artificial_photosynthesis Image: Joule Unlimited

    Nature has a way of getting things right – photosynthesis is a prime example. Scientists are now taking clues from this process where the sun’s energy is captured and turned into useful chemical fuel to create artificial photosynthesis.

    One potential outcome of artificial photosynthesis is hydrogen which can be used in fuel cells. Companies like Joule are working on making it commercially viable and JCAP is dedicated to developing the technology.

     

    Algea Biofuel

    aglae-biofuels-tt001 Image: http://bit.ly/1pfL2RE

    Biofuel made from algae instead of the traditional corn ethanol is making waves in the green energy field. The environmental perks include the fact that algae won’t need farmland to grow – tanks in sunlight are perfect. The algae will also grow much faster than other crops and the possibility to use wastewater or even saline for their growth is feasible. U.S companies such as Sapphire Energy and Algenol have been forerunners in this development.

     

     

     

    These projects may only be in their beginning phases but they point us towards a sustainable future we can be proud to be a part of. Sustainable.co.za offers a wide range of products which will help you build towards that future, starting today.

     

     

     

  • Solar Panel Roundup – A Practical Guide for Living Solutions

    Nothing is more powerful than the sun when it comes to its natural influence on the human race and indeed, the very world we live in. Our solar system revolves around it, nature is absolutely reliant on it, humanity has always been in awe of it and its fate is directly linked to our planets’. Solar panels are to the sun what a surfboard is to the waves; mankind’s way of harnessing something of great power and influence to better our lives. The sun offers us a clean source of energy through the use of solar panels, but how do they work? The answer lies in its specific application; how you want them to work and what type of solar panel you use. Many variations exist depending on the materials used, the method of manufacturing, and on the functions they serve. A solar panel’s efficiency depends on many factors, but the most important depends on you, or more specifically, to what you need. To size the most suitable system, the first step is to get an idea of what sort of load you need to power, or in other words, how much electricity you want your solar power system to generate. An electricity monitor can provide you with this data by measuring your household’s average load.

    What is a solar panel you ask? Solar panels, more formally referred to as photovoltaic modules, can be divided into four main categories, namely amorphous, thin film, mono- and poly-crystalline.

    Continue reading

  • University of Victoria Introduces New Green Ship Technology

    Canada’s University of Victoria recently received $1.19 million in funding which it is using to further discoveries and developments of green ship technology. Furthermore they are using the money to obtain the equipment that is needed to convert a ship into the world’s first plug-in ship. This new technology can help ships go green and reduce carbon emissions which will benefit the environment.

     

    The ship will be powered by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and low-emission diesel fuel, which combined will provide sufficient power for manoeuvres at low speeds and station keeping, as well as supply high quality power for ship systems, communications and instrumentation.

     

    This green technology for ships has been developed by the University of Victoria’s green transportation research team in conjunction with the marine engineering and alternative power system industries. Once it has been fully approved and the system trademarked and patented it will be an excellent option for any clearing agent to start implementing into his fleet.

     

    Hybrid systems whether for vehicles or the marine industry are more efficient and cleaner than traditional systems; and provide us with a way to travel using greener methods. The ship that they will test this technology on is a 26.7m long and 7.25m in width. In order to fit the new technology the ship will have a new section inserted in the middle, which will add an additional 10m to the length.

     

    This new section will include a science lab where recently developed software technology will ensure the optimisation of the ship’s batteries and generators depending on its speed and operation requirements. As well as enabling the use of green power, it will enable sensitive research missions to be done more effectively and without interference from noisy engines.

     

    This technology will also be ideal for the shipping of sea freight in a more environmentally sustainable manner. When this green ship technology takes off we can expect a significant reduction in carbon emissions from the marine industry.

8 Item(s)